Monthly Archives: January 2018

My Planner: How I Stay On Top Of Stuff

If you’ve ever visited my Pinterest profile, you know about my obsession with planners. Heck, if you’ve ever talked to me about my day for more than five minutes, you at least know about my obsession with to-do lists! Well, a lot of people have told me (especially through Pinterest) that witnessing my obsessive planning actually helps motivate them to keep on track with their to-do lists as well. I thought I would try to spread that motivation to my lovely readers! 🙂

SPOILER ALERT: You are about to see a lot of pictures of my planning techniques. Don’t worry though, I’m only showing what’s necessary (I’ve covered my personal planning in a different blog post, and even though some things have changed in regards to that, I’ll only cover my business planning here).

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I got into planning in middle school. I wasn’t full-on using a store-bought planner or bullet journal, and I wasn’t decorating anything with cute stickers or lettering. But I was definitely getting into making an effective use of the agenda given out to everyone in my school. At first, I would only write down things like assignments, tests, etc. because my teachers required us to do so. Then, it became something more.

I started using the margins to write down notes about each homework assignment (ie. “only do odd #s” “due 1/22 but might change” etc). The one time that I accidentally left my agenda in my eighth-grade locker overnight and forgot everything I was supposed to do for class, I realized that writing things down absolutely helped me remember them. From that point on, I was hooked. I started writing to-do lists in 9th grade, and in my junior year of high school I stumbled upon my first “cutesy planning” YouTube video. I was OBSESSED. That very same day, I went out and spent all of my money ($35 to be exact, which to a teenager is a hell of a lot) on a “cutesy” planner.

My planning style has definitely evolved since then, and I want to share it with you now in the hopes that my style motivates you to get in the zone of finding your own planning style!

My Business Bullet Journal

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This Leuchtturm (don’t ask me to try to pronounce that) notebook was honestly the best organization purchase I ever made! I use this thing for all of my business planning, and it has kept me super organized thus far. Keep reading to find out how I use this journal.

 

The beauty of bullet journaling is that everything is customized to your style (because you have to draw it all in). This is what my monthly spreads usually look like; I can change them at any time, which I love. But for now, this spread is working for me.

  • monthly calendar in boxes (’cause I’m a very visual person)
  • color-coded dots (with color key at the bottom) to denote events/appointments
  • event description module on the right side of the page for event details
  • notations of when I need to post to different social media accounts
  • sticky notes for blog post ideas (it’s important that they’re movable!)

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My weekly spreads are usually set up with minimalism in mind. Just like my old-school agenda days, I like to keep things relatively simple when it comes to to-do lists, goal-setting, and weekly events. Here’s what my weekly spread usually looks like:

  • a space for the events/tasks happening each day of the week (I’ve played around with how to structure this, and this is the best layout I’ve found so far)
  • a space for tasks that have to get done this week but not necessarily on a specific day
  • a space to take down important notes during meetings or phone conferences
  • a space to keep track of my digital/social media marketing checklists (I have the specific daily, weekly, monthly, yearly marketing checklists on a different page in my journal; see below)
  • a space to keep track of my habits throughout the week (used to make sure that I’m trying to better myself and reach my goals)

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My digital/social media marketing is really important to me; without it, I wouldn’t be getting as much traffic to the site or to my photos. Below is the spread I created listing what I need to do each day, week, month, and year to reach my marketing goals.

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The pretty quotes and lettering are as important to my bullet journal as the spread layouts themselves. Part of the appeal to bullet journaling is that it motivates you to get things done efficiently, effectively, and with joy. My joy in getting things done also comes from seeing the motivational work bujo 4quotes and aesthetically pleasing designs that I include at every turn of my journal. I’ve even created a spread to look at when I’m feeling particularly uninspired.

Bullet journaling isn’t about creating a formula; that’s what regular planners tend to do. My school agendas were the same way, and it worked for a long time. But that kind of system just doesn’t help me anymore. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I am a creative soul. I have to be creating something in the spaces around me in order to live fulfilled, and bullet journaling allows me to literally create things that I can carry with me and keep at my finger tips at all times.

4 Tips to Help You Become a Lifelong Learner

I graduated university not too long ago, but my education didn’t stop just because I was “done” with school. There are a few things I do to keep up my educational growth.

Enroll in free online workshops/courses

If you do a search on Google for “free workshops in [insert skill here]” you are bound to find more than a few results that interest you in some capacity. I find that workshops and online courses help keep me motivated, engaged, learning, and productive (even throughout the day when I’m working on tasks that have nothing to do with those workshops or courses). One of the best sites I’ve found for online courses is Coursera. It used to be totally free to take workshops through them, but there is now an enrollment fee for some of their courses. What I like about the site is that you get a real certificate of completion for each course. Then if you finish all of the courses in a “specialization,” you get a Certificate of Specialization.

Read. A lot.

A good Dr. Seuss quote (among the many) is this: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” I didn’t love reading at first; as a child just learning to read, the whole concept was very frustrating. But once I learned how to read, I never stopped. I have dived into more imaginary worlds than I can keep up with, and I have learned so much – academically, emotionally, and spiritually – through books.

 

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Make fast and hard changes in yourself and your environment

Change causes growth. It’s an unavoidable phenomenon in our world, but we can use it to continue learning about ourselves and our society. Even changing the little things in your routine – like the restaurant you go to for lunch each day – can force you to experience new things which results in growth. One of the big things you can do to induce change is to travel. I have yet to travel outside of my own country (the good ol’ USA), but I have been to a handful of other states in the country. Every time I have traveled, I have learned from the new people, foods, and lifestyles I’ve encountered.

Take time to relax and recharge

Self-care is so SO SO important for human beings to maintain healthy and balanced lifestyles. Learning to learn is an aspect of self-care, but it will only work if you also give yourself a break every once in a while. A big part of relaxing is understanding that your to-do list is a plan and not a requirement. I struggle a lot with this; I’m always trying to think of ways to be more productive and efficient to get the next thing done. But while this kind of thinking can be really beneficial sometimes, it is not healthy to think this way about everything all the time. It causes you to get overwhelmed which then causes you to actually get less done than you would have in the long-run.

My solution for “to-do-list-brain” is to forget the list. Schedule in a day each week (or an hour each day) to give yourself a break and not do anything that relates to work or school or [insert sometimes-crippling responsibility here]. I know this sounds unrealistic because almost all of us have extremely busy lives, but if you try this out maybe once a month, it really does help to take away a lot of stress. You’ll find yourself getting even more done the next time you actually pull out the to-do list.

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Being a lifelong learner isn’t something that happens in an instant and then is done; you can’t do this for one day, that’s why it’s termed lifelong. It takes time and a commitment, but it is so worth the effort. I hope these tips help you implement a learning routine into your everyday hustle and grind! If you have other tips or want to share your experiences with the ones I’ve listed here, please do so in the comments. I would love to read what you have to say!